IN YOUR SHOES Tips For Small Business

Generating Sales Leads

Diana Pohly

Four Ways to Better Leverage Social Media

Generate Sales Leads From Social Media

In a recent post on the Publishing Technology blog, George Lossius writes that social media promises many benefits, but selling directly to customers might not be one of them. “What hasn’t happened,” he writes, “. . . is the evolution of social media as a viable sales platform despite the hype.”

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Lossius is a publishing consultant, but his opinion poses important questions for small businesses of all kinds. How many sales come directly from your Facebook page, for example? Is it even possible for your customers to purchase directly from your YouTube videos, or from your tweets? When you ask questions like those, it becomes clear that Lossius is right. Social media can be used to drive traffic to your company’s main publications page, but that is where the selling happens.

Here are some tips for bringing social media followers and fans to your company page and encouraging them to buy when they arrive there:

  • Facebook – Segment your products or services clearly. Each product can have a separate section, a separate logo or product image, and a link that takes visitors directly to a page about that product or service on your main website, with an option to buy. There can also be an incentive on your Facebook page for visitors to click through to your ordering page, such as a discount coupon or a contest. Lowe’s company Facebook page, for example, provides direct links to Lowe’s Home Improvement services and other dedicated pages on the main website. Remember that posting a general “umbrella” profile about your company on your Facebook page will not work hard enough to generate sales.

  • YouTube – Be sure to display your website address on your company channel’s main page and in your videos. Unfortunately, videos are not clickable, so posting your URL prominently is still the best way to get viewers to click through to your site. WaterPik Showers, for example, posts a link to its shower products on its channel’s landing page, and closes each of its videos with the company’s URL.

  • Twitter – When you tweet about a product or service, be sure to provide a link to a dedicated page for it, with ordering information there. If you will be tweeting about a number of different products or services, consider creating separate Twitter accounts for each of them, so your followers will have a more direct path from your tweets to the products they would like to buy.

  • LinkedIn – Don’t be shy about pitching products or services. As you might have noticed, LinkedIn is becoming more commercialized and promotional in tone. It is no longer purely an online networking platform for professionals.

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